If you thought that optimising your eCommerce site would be a piece of cake, you’re sadly mistaken. It is much more difficult to optimise an eCommerce website than it is for a simple blog or a 3-page website. Yet that’s not to say that it is impossible to achieve – you just need a helping hand.
E-Commerce websites with a large number of product listings require more attention to detail. This is because of the constant shifting of these products on and off the website. Constant changes such as this, can prove to be problematic with regards to SEO.
So, how can you improve the SEO of your eCommerce site?
The first step is to fix any present errors. To help with this, we have compiled a list of the most common SEO mistakes to AVOID (you can thank us later).
Mistake #1 – Using Manufacturer Product Descriptions
Manufacturers distribute product descriptions to online retailers who sell their products. It can be tempting to use the descriptions provided, but this won’t do your site any favours. Upon scanning your website, Google is alerted to the presence of duplicate content. This ensures that your site is dragged down the rankings. It might even get banned altogether from search engines if Google sees fit.
The solution? Create unique and compelling content. Yes, it may take some time, but in the end it will be worth it. A website containing unique product descriptions ranks higher. It’s as simple as that.
In some cases, there may be some products for which you are unable to write unique content for. Reasons for this include products that will be exiting your inventory soon. For products like this, it is better to take them out of search engines altogether. You can do this by putting a ‘No Index’ meta tag on these product pages. If you write unique content for only half of your products, search engines may flag your site as spam. It is better to keep your website as search engine friendly as possible.
Mistake #2 – Missing Product Descriptions
This is a major error across a wide range of eCommerce sites. Pictures is a must, but it is also important to include an adjoining product description. Keep in mind that Google is blind to images. Search engines need content to read and analyse. Without content, your website will be swept under the rug. A product page without any text will not have a chance of reaching anywhere near the top 10 results of a search query.
Use descriptive text when writing product descriptions to increase customers interest in the product. Never copy content from another website. Do this and search engines will penalise you.
Mistake #3 – Failing to Optimise based on Keywords
Be aware of your target audience and your keywords. Use keywords that people are searching for. Make sure to include these in your product descriptions, title pages and headlines. The more specific your keywords are, the better. A few tips to better optimise product pages is to use brand names and model numbers. Many shoppers know exactly what brand and item that they wish to buy. Give them what they want and make their shopping experience as convenient as possible.
It is also a common mistake among eCommerce websites to neglect the image alt tag. Try not to forget this little golden nugget which helps search engines to see your images. Another big error is to overload your pages with repetitive keywords. Keep them to a minimum!
Mistake #4 – Absence of Keyword friendly URLs
Lack of keyword friendly URLs, otherwise known as “speaking” URLs, is a huge eCommerce mistake. It basically refers to the name of the product being present in the URL address. This is extremely important for SEO. A unique URL helps your pages to stand out. It’s advised to create unique URLs for each of your products. One advantage is that it makes finding your products easier for the customer because the URL tells users what to expect before landing on the associated page. This sets your website apart from the rest and makes it appear more reliable and relevant at the same time. You can also get lucky with keywords and anchor links because the chances of another website picking up on your URL and re-posting it increases.
Mistake #5 – Missing Product Reviews
Product reviews make a website more trustworthy and credible. 70% of online shoppers read product reviews before deciding to make a purchase. A website missing product reviews will be quickly replaced with one containing honest and useful insights. By having reviews enabled on your website, it will be much easier for you to climb to the top of search results. Reviews also help to create unique content for your online business and it keeps the product page ALIVE.
Don’t let simple mistakes like these stop your eCommerce business from climbing the search results ladder.
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